BY A STAFF WRITER
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- A lawsuit is accusing a Philadelphia motel of providing rooms to human traffickers who exploited girls and forced them into prostitution.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the complaint was filed on March 10 on behalf of a girl who was 14 years old when she was forced into the sex trade in 2013.
The suit names the Roosevelt Inn in Northeast Philadelphia, Indian American manager Yagna Patel, and parent company UFVS Management in Purchase, New York.
It contends the girl, who is now 17, was enslaved and forced to perform sex acts with men in 2013 and 2014 and the motel provided rooms to her traffickers.
A woman who answered the phone at the UFVS Management said no one could comment.
Patel, 72, said he had not seen the lawsuit and was not aware of any minors allegedly being victimized in the motel.
"We just rent the room and that’s all we can do," he said, adding that he has a close relationship with the police and if there's unruliness in a room, the motel guests would be told to leave.
"It’s hard to control anybody," he said. "If we think a lot of people are having a party in the room, we kick them out."
Patel said he had managed the inn for 30 years. He said he had "no knowledge" of the teenage girl in the lawsuit being victimized or of any other minors who may have been exploited as prostitutes in the motel's rooms.
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